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Saudi Arabia rises to world's 5th largest military spender: SIPRI

The kingdom has risen from eighth to fifth place since 2021, surpassing the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Saudi fighter jets are displayed during Saudi Arabias first World Defense Show, north of the capital Riyadh, on March 6, 2022. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

DUBAI — Saudi Arabia was ranked the 5th biggest military spender in 2022, jumping from eighth to fifth place in one year and surpassing the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

The kingdom was the only Middle Eastern country to make the top 10 global list, according to a report released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). It saw military spending increase by 16% to reach an estimated $75 billion, according to the Trends in World Military Expenditure 2022 report by SIPRI. 

Total Middle East expenditures reached an estimated $184 billion in 2022, an increase of 3.2% from the year before, mainly due to Saudi Arabia’s significant uptick. 

This total does not include the Palestinian territories nor Arabic-speaking North African countries including Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. It also does not include the United Arab Emirates, which has an estimated defense budget worth $23.2 billion in 2023, according to data analytics company Global Data. SIPRI reported that the organization has not acquired data on the United Arab Emirates’ military spending since 2014. 

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